Posts Tagged ‘sales trips’

The four of us have had a very busy week in Austin, Texas, where the South by Southwest music, film and interactive festival runs through Saturday.

We’ve met with a stream of musicians, managers and agents, filmmakers, venture capitalists, app developers and others in the entertainment industries. The response seems to have been pretty good. I was on my feet for nearly the entire seven hours between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., giving FargoTube demonstrations at our trade show booth. The trade show continues through this afternoon. Frank, Paul and Stephanie have been attending two or three discussion panels every day, and “speed dating” with potential partners from entertainment and investment industries.

The fun continues tomorrow morning with a breakfast event before the trade show reopens.

More detail when we catch our breath…

Just talked to Paul Campbell, our chief operating officer. He and SVP for Business Development Stephanie Miller just got back from Nashville, where they continue to build solid relationships that help accelerate FargoTube’s growth.

One of their meetings was with Will Carter, CEO of Music Starts Here. The organization describes itself as

“Nashville’s community, city and industry-sponsored initiative designed to help artists, songwriters, musicians, technicians and industry professionals (‘Musers’) simplify and streamline the craft and business of making music in and through Music City. To provide an ongoing, relevant and comprehensive resource portal for those looking to pursue their goals and dreams in music helps musicians get into the scene and after they arrive from elsewhere.”

Part of that, of course, is building a financially sustainable career, which is where FargoTube comes in.

Music Starts Here has produced 400+ video tutorials for Nashville newcomers across a wide range of topics. Music Starts here currently pays to deliver these videos via VIMEO, but will begin shifting to FargoTube. With our platform, Music Starts Here can reduce its costs, while creating a new business model that helps it to expand its activities that support young artists. Plans are to deliver some videos free of charge for promotional purposes, while providing more in-depth interviews and workshops on a pay-per-view basis.

Working with MusicStartsHere is exciting and energizing. The organization’s interest in FargoTube is also validation that our platform is the most useful and flexible in giving its customers in the entertainment industries the tools necessary to support and expand their businesses.

Of course, Paul and Stephanie also met with a range of songwriters, producers and musicians in Nashville, including representatives from the label of a country musician who has sold more than 10 million records during his career. We’ll let you know what comes out of those discussions.

COO Paul Campbell and SVP of Business Development Stephanie Miller are in Nashville from Tuesday evening through Saturday, rubbing elbows at the Next Big Nashville summit and signing up new musicians and record labels for our FargoTube video and entertainment service. They’ve had meetings nearly back to back from breakfast into the evening.

“Obviously, we’ve had a lot of chances to meet with a lot of people,” Paul said.

F3’s co-sponsorship of lunch on opening day is helping those efforts.

The summit has focused heavily on technology, and particularly distribution and sales technology in the same spirit as FargoTube. Labels are seeking to replace — and to exceed, in some cases — revenue from dwindling CD sales.

“It was a validation of a lot of what we do,” Paul said. “A lot of labels and musicians who are here are building individual solutions, but not a comprehensive solution like FargoTube.”

In that context, it looks like Paul and Stephanie have been able to make an impact. One musician and one music-promotion organization created FargoTube presences for themselves while still at the conference. I’m still trying to get those details. We expect many more to set up on FargoTube over the next couple of weeks, with the service beginning to generate appreciable revenue in the quarter that started today.

On the same note, I just noticed that Kelly Peters, a dance instructor with followers across the nation and particularly in the northeast, has begun to upload videos to his fan site on FargoTube.

Music City meetings

Posted: August 13, 2010 by chrisbagley in F3 Technologies, FargoTube, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

A quick word on our sales team’s trip to Nashville this week. Wednesday was full of meetings with new partners and prospective partners for FargoTube, our video- and entertainment-based social network.

Paul and Stephanie met with a video-based marketing agency with an eye on publicity for FargoTube. This is the second or third agency they’ve met, and we’re planning to engage one or more of them in the coming months as we expand our focus: So far, we’ve focused on encouraging content owners to create “tubes” on FargoTube and post their videos there. We’ve signed a half-dozen, and expect one or two dozen in the next couple of months. In a sense, they advertise FargoTube by bringing their fan bases with them. But as FargoTube’s pool of content grows, we’ll start advertising it directly to prospective FargoTube subscribers, who’ll arrive not knowing in advance which artists’ content they’ll purchase.

Paul and Stephanie also met with a musician and a record-label owner who have signed on to FargoTube in the last couple of months and are laying out their tubes.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Paul has begun working on an arrangement with a nonprofit group that promotes Nashville’s music scene and helps musicians to set up shop there. That relationship could be especially fruitful because FargoTube is an especially powerful tool for musicians with niche or regional followings.

F3′s sales team is back from a productive trip to Music City USA and preparing for yet another Nashville trip, its fourth in two months.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were busy for Paul Campbell, our chief operating officer; and Stephanie Miller, our SVP of business development. They met with a talent-management agency, a public-relations firm, a large music-licensing firm, and a couple of country musicians who have become television stars.

We expect some of these meetings to have indirect but very important results for our FargoTube entertainment service. The licensing agency, essentially a group of sleuths that track down unlicensed use of songs, could eventually give FargoTube enormous credibility as a force for the rights of musicians and other content owners, who are trying to break their addiction to free online distribution.

“A lot of things we’re doing are not just short-term,” Paul said. “They’re things we’re doing to ensure that the site has longevity. Everything we do as a company is about getting to the point where we have sustainability.”

With some of the other meetings, the goal is a partnership where the content owner makes FargoTube a key part of distribution strategy. After signing Strange Celebrity Entertainment, LLC, and its country musicians last month, we’re aiming for a second major content partner. We expect that to happen soon because we’ve drawn a lot of interest from a lot of different content owners, who range from Nashville musicians to producers of instructional videos.

The sales process is a bit like planting a tree and waiting for it to bear fruit, even for the discussions with content partners and potential content partners. For one thing, FargoTube is pioneering a new business model that content owners are only beginning to understand. Artists have been using their online presence mainly to promote their concert tours and sales of physical albums, and the costs of such promotion are often larger than the revenue they generate. And while free music videos have helped generate advertising revenue and have probably aided in the sales of digitial music files through third-party websites such as iTunes, those two sources have replaced only a fraction of the loss from declining CD sales. In short, online distribution hasn’t been a smashing success, so content owners are having to become more judicious in how they fit the internet into their business models. F3 Technologies is working with them to ensure that FargoTube is the online source of the future.